Monthly Archives: April 2013

Woofed Rocket


The thing to remember about woofas (willing workers on organic farms) is that they don’t necessarily know anything about vegetables and to send them on a picking mission unaccompanied is dodgy. The shop requested a bucket of spinach and a bucket of chard for tomorrow and our lovely woofa volunteered to go picking. This was such a tempting offer that after a brief ‘do you know’ conversation, off she went armed with two buckets. Some time later she returned with a beautiful bucketful of rainbow chard and a large pile of baby rocket. I was horrified, as for a moment I thought she’d destroyed the fledgling crop of rocket, but it’s fine. In fact it didn’t harm the rocket at all, as it does like to be picked, and I certainly wouldn’t have had the patience to get down and pick such baby leaves singularly. So no harm done and  after having a spinach identifying and picking lesson we have the added bonus of rocket pesto with linguine for our dinner.



Rocket Pesto

20g sunflower seeds

20g pinenuts

150g rocket

50g Parmesan cheese

1-2 cloves garlic

approx 100ml olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon


Place the sunflower seeds and pinenuts into a food processor with the garlic and blitz until fairly finely ground. Add the rocket and slowly pour in the olive oil and lemon juice. Add the Parmesan and mix well. Season with a little salt and adjust the consistency by adding a little more oil if necessary. Tip into a bowl. Put a layer of olive oil over the top if the pesto isn’t going to be used immediately. This will stop the pesto from oxidising. Use within the week.

Here’s a sunshine recipe

This is a recipe which I have put together for the West Cork People Holiday guide. I wrote it with people staying in holiday accommodation in mind so it’s very simple and ready for good weather

Here’s hoping for sunshine!

Here is a recipe for a summer chickpea salad, which can be made by opening cans and jars. It’s a very popular dish in Spain where they use an incredible amount of canned beans and tuna in the kitchen. It’s very tasty and nutritious and makes for easy holiday cooking or indeed anytime cooking. This makes a great lunch and is perfectly portable for a picnic.

It is worth splashing out on a decent can of tuna as you definitely get what you pay for. White tuna, also known as Bonito del Norte is delicious and quite a different animal from standard tuna. This is used widely in Spain but isn’t as well known here. It’s worth seeking out. Ortiz is the most well-known and widely available brand, the only trouble is that once you’re seduced it’s difficult to return to the other kind.

If you don’t like tuna or are a vegetarian substitute the tuna with feta cheese.


Summer Chickpea salad

1-2 cans chickpeas

1 small red onion

2 large red peppers or one jar roasted peppers

200g cherry tomatoes

1 small can tuna – Ortiz is best, or about 100g feta cheese

a handful fresh parsley

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tbs sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

If you are using fresh peppers you need to roast them first. Pre-heat the oven to 200c and place the peppers directly onto the shelf. Cook for ten minutes then turn and cook for further 5-10 minutes. The peppers are ready when the skin is blistered. Take the peppers from the oven and pop them into a plastic bag. This will make them sweat and the skins will be easier to remove. When the peppers have cooled enough to handle peel away the skins and remove the seeds.

If you are using a jar of roasted peppers drain them.

Cut the peppers into long strips then cut into approx 5cm pieces

Peel and chop the onion and halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes, depending how big they are.

Drain the chickpeas and rinse.

Drain the can of tuna and flake the fish with a fork..

Put all of the above ingredients into a bowl and season with a little salt and pepper. Peel and chop the garlic and whisk together with the vinegar and olive oil.

Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss together.

Chop the parsley and scatter over the top.

Best served at room temperature.

The Life Changing Loaf

The loaf was sitting just where I left it this morning. It looked like it had risen by about a centimetre but that was obviously all the seeds and physllium swelling as there ‘s no yeast nor raising agents involved. I popped it into the oven and cooked it for twenty minutes, as instructed, then tipped it out of the bread tin and onto a baking tray for the final thirty-forty minutes of cooking. I checked it after thirty minutes but it took the full forty minutes before it sounded hollow when tapped.


I left it to cool as the recipe said to be sure it was totally cold before slicing but in fact it was still a little tepid when we chanced the first slice as a customer was curious to taste it.

It sliced perfectly and is a very interesting loaf to eat with the hazelnuts , all the seeds and a slight oaty flavour.  Something like a pumpernickel bread and very good with butter and marmite.

One of the main attractions of making a loaf like this is to cater for all the gluten free/dairy free/yeast free customers but this loaf isn’t actually gluten free as the recipe states, as it has oats in it. I am going to try making it with quinoa flakes next time which would solve that problem and up the protein hit even more.

Definitely a recipe to play with!


Power Bread

There was a recipe for a bread that was heralded as a Life Changing Loaf in last weeks Guardian Food supplement This is quite claim and if this is the case I’m wondering how it will taste so I have followed the recipe, apart from changing the maple syrup to honey,  to see what it is like.

It’s quite a collection of ingredients – sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds and hazelnuts all held together with oatflakes, coconut oil and pysllium seeds – the psyllium seeds being the main glue. The picture looks quite enticing showing slices of bread with hazelnuts cut through and it could be delicious. Whichever way it is going to be rocket fuel with all those omega threes and fibres.

It’s very simple. Just a matter of mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, squashing it all into a tin and leaving it for at least a couple of hours/all day/or overnight.

I’ve gone for the overnight option and my tinful of omega three goodness is sitting in the shop kitchen until I bake it tomorrow morning.

I’ll take my camera to work and take a picture and update you with the results